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Bulgaria is getting more and more popular as a holiday destination. Names like “Golden Beach” indeed sound very inviting. But many people don’t know that Bulgaria is officially the poorest country in the European Union. In Bulgaria the buying power per head is about 37 % of the European average. The population consists of 84 % Bulgarians, about 10 % Turks, nearly 5 % Roma and other small minorities.
Departing Communism left enormous problems in large parts of the country. Retired and unemployed persons are not provided for sufficiently, in large cities there are downright slums where ten thousands of people eke out a miserable existence in primitive dwellings. Population parts like the Roma are additionally discriminated against. The reasons for this situation are complex and complicated and we don’t want to put the blame on somebody for today’s situation. Frequently and for various reasons families cannot or don’t want to exercise their right to education.
For us in Central Europe the town of Varna is mainly known as a holiday destination for tourists. However, most visitors don’t know that only a few kilometres away from their comfortable hotels people have to live in downright slums under extremely difficult circumstances.
This is where the Bulgarian organization “Milusurdie Za Teb” (compassion for you) comes in. The head of this organization, Sylvia Bakalova, is a business economic and a teacher with academic degrees. Thus, she is highly qualified to be in charge of the projects in Varna. She is very experienced in accompanying Roma children and families and due to her former work as a teacher she knows the Bulgarian school system from within and also has a large network in local schools and education authorities.
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“ Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ”
James 1 : 27 | The Bible